- The Washington Times - Monday, August 1, 2005

Swan song on ‘SFU’

R.I.P. Nathaniel Samuel Fisher Jr.

In a TV rarity, and maybe a first, a central character on HBO’s “Six Feet Under” died Sunday, a month before the series’ final episode.

The demise would have been more unusual on almost any other series, notes the Chicago Tribune. But “Six Feet Under,” in its fifth and final season, is a black comedy/soap opera set in a funeral home.

On Sunday, Nate (actor Peter Krause), who had a brain illness, came out of his coma long enough to speak with his family — minus his mom, Ruth (Frances Conroy), who’s on a camping trip with an ex-lover — smile at his latest love interest (his former stepsister, Maggie, played by Tina Holmes) and tell his wife, Brenda (Rachel Griffiths) he would be leaving her upon recovery.

Then, he was gone. But instead of the proverbial white light, used in each episode in place of the standard cinematic blackout, Nate’s fade-out saw him run in a dream into the pounding California surf at sunset.

Yet as fans of the series know, “Nate” and Mr. Krause aren’t really going anywhere. Dead characters routinely return as ghosts, beginning with Nate’s father (Richard Jenkins), who died in the premiere episode in 2001.

Look for Nate to appear in the series’ three remaining episodes, beginning this Sunday (at 9 p.m.), when he confronts Brenda with a challenge, according to a statement about the episode from HBO.

‘Desperate’ dodge

The 2006 awards calendar could be in for a shakeup, with both the Golden Globes and Emmys poised to move from their traditional Sunday night berths to avoid competition from the ABC ratings smash, “Desperate Housewives,” Variety reports.

Both NBC and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which hosts the Globes, are considering a move to Mondays as early as next year.

In the case of the Emmys, the shift would be temporary, the result of a National Football League conflict. NBC, which gets the 2006 Emmycast as part of a four-network rotation, can’t accommodate a Sunday broadcast of TV’s top honors because of its just-inked multibillion-dollar deal for the NFL’s Sunday night football package.

The Peacock network has proposed moving the Emmys to Monday, September 11, 2006. However, that date has raised eyebrows at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences because it’s the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attacks. Some inside the Academy are worried about staging an awards show on a night when other networks may be scheduling anniversary commemorations, according to an anonymous source familiar with the talks between NBC and the organization.

Although representatives for NBC and ATAS are pondering other possible nights, the choices are limited since the Emmys contractually can’t air once the official TV season gets under way Sept. 18.

An ATAS representative declined to discuss specifics but did confirm there’s a conflict with NBC airing the awards in the usual Sunday night slot. “The Academy has talked to NBC and together they are evaluating the situation,” she said.

Moving on

“American Idol” finalist Constantine Maroulis has signed a deal with Kelsey Grammer’s production company and the two are developing a TV drama series, according to realitytvworld.com.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports.

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